Schedule, start times announced for upcoming NCAA Tournament

Photo by Fabiana Huffaker

The wait to crown a national champion won’t be as long this year.

The host site Long Beach State as part of making ticket sales available to the public on Monday unveiled that the start time for the finals will be moved up to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4.

This will be the earliest start time for a NCAA Tournament finals during the 25-point rally scoring era.

The NCAA Tournament finals started at 5 p.m. local time last season and when Long Beach State last hosted the event in 2018. The previous earliest start time for a NCAA Tournament finals was 4 p.m. for the 2018 finals at UCLA.


The start times for the semifinal matches also have been moved up to accommodate the earlier finals start time.

The first semifinal match will be played at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, while the other semifinal match will immediately proceed the first one at 6:30 p.m. This is a 90-minute earlier start time than last year’s semifinals.

Along with the semifinals and finals, the schedule was unveiled for the inaugural NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

All four quarterfinals will take place on Tuesday, April 30 and have been divided into two sessions.

The first session will start at 11 a.m. with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 8 seed and then the No. 4 seed playing the No. 5 seed at 1:30 p.m. The second session will feature the No. 2 seed playing the No. 7 seed at 5:30 p.m. and concludes with the No. 3 seed playing the No. 6 seed at 7:30 p.m.

The NCAA Tournament expanded this season from seven teams to eight teams with the addition of the SIAC receiving an automatic bid. The previous format of the tournament included the top-two seeds receiving a bye to the semifinals and three opening round matches.

All-session tickets for the NCAA Tournament are currently available to purchase through the Long Beach State ticket office. All-session tickets cost $90, and a discounted rate of $80 is available for people at least 60 years old or people between the ages of 3 and 12 years old.